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Update: Weather warning as storm sweeps across Dorset
PEOPLE are being urged to take care on the roads and along the coast as another storm sweeps in.
The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for wind and rain from just after midnight on Monday.
The update yesterday said further rain will spread quickly eastwards across southwest England on Sunday night and into Monday, and will be accompanied by gales.
A Met Office spokesperson said: "Further rain, heavy at times, is expected to spread quickly eastwards across southwest England and south Wales on Sunday night and into Monday morning.
“Rainfall totals are expected to be widely 15 to 30 mm, but as much as 40 to 50 mm over south facing coasts and hills.
“With ground already saturated over much of this region, the public should be aware of the risk of further local flooding. Gales will accompany this rain.”
Environment Agency flood alerts are still valid for West Dorset, the Lower Frome between Dorchester and Wareham and the Cranborne Chase area.
Condor Ferries are expected to be delayed by the bad weather and South West Trains are currently working on the train and bus plan for tomorrow, which is expected to be published later today.
Coastguards are warning that high tides and potential landslips could pose a danger on Dorset’s beaches as stormy weather continues to batter the south coast.
Winds and prolonged torrential rain over the past few weeks have prompted Portland Coastguard to urge residents to take care if they do go out.
The cliffs from West Bay to Burton Bradstock are thought to be at particular risk.
A spokesperson from Portland Coastguard said: “We would urge all Dorset residents to take care and be careful during the recent stormy and rainy weather.
“By all means go out and have fun, but stay away and beware of the dangers of cliff ledges and sea tide levels.
“We would advise all Dorset residents to check tides before venturing out to beaches and to check for any travel disruption which could cause problems.”
Richard Edmonds, Earth science manager for the Jurassic Coast Team, said: “This heavy rain does lead to more rock falls and mud slides from the cliff faces all along the Jurassic Coast.
“It is not an exact science to try and predict when or where the next major land movement will be, but there has already been quite a lot of land movement in the past week due to the bad weather we have had. There has been constant rock falls.
“People need to be careful and stay away from the cliffs.”
Jamie Staple, the West Bay Coastguard station officer, warned people to be extra careful if they go out on to the beaches in bad weather.
Mr Staple said: “The cliffs are unstable at the best of times but in this bad weather they become more unstable. We can’t predict when or what will happen but the cliffs are always falling, so be vigilant.”
For the UK storms latest, see World News page 10
There were two flood warnings and 12 flood alerts in place yesterday across the South West. Flood alerts yesterday included ground water flooding in the West Dorset area including Bridport, Nottington, Upwey, Piddlehinton, Piddletrenthide, Martinstown, Milborne St Andrew, Chideock and the Winterborne villages.
An Environment Agency spokesperson said: “Groundwater levels have risen very quickly over the past 48 hours – and with a wet period forecast for the week ahead – are expected to continue to rise.”
There was also a flood warning in place for streams and rivers between Dorchester and Wareham.
The spokesperson added: “River levels remain high, but have started to recede. Further significant rainfall is expected at the beginning of next week.”
Trains back to normal
TRAIN services returned back to normal yesterday after major disruption earlier in the week.
South West Trains said that maintenance teams were working throughout Christmas Day and Boxing Day – when no trains were operating because of the festive break – to ensure that services were able to run yesterday.
The storms experienced on Monday and Tuesday left more than 140 trees blocking lines, with nine separate areas experiencing flooding.
There were no problems reported on the main line between Weymouth and London yesterday.
The line between Yeovil Pen Mill and Weymouth was shut yesterday morning due to flooding but reopened quickly and First Great Western say all services are now running normally.
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